There's no shortage of media speculation as to why Jared Loughner chose to attack Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Commentators have suggested possible roles for overheated political rhetoric, mental illness, and even Sarah Palin's controversial "crosshairs" map. But some explanations have been less conventional. Here are the five most unusual arguments so far about what led Loughner to his awful act.
- 'Did Pot Trigger Giffords Shooting?' That's the headline on a much-mocked recent blog post by David Frum. "The Tucson shooting should remind us why we regulate marijuana. Jared Lee Loughner, the man held as the Tucson shooter, has been described by those who know as a 'pot smoking loner,'" Frum writes. "After the Tucson shooting, there may be renewed pressure to control the weapons that committed the crime. But what about the drugs that may have aggravated the killer’s mental disease?" Frum says there's a "strong" case that marijuana exacerbates schizophrenia.
- Heavy Metal Music Salon's Sarah Hepola looks for clues in Loughner's YouTube profile. "His lone 'favorite' video is a homemade clip that prominently features the Drowning Pool song 'Bodies,' whose grim history includes being played at Guantánamo to torture prisoners," she writes, citing the songs "troubled past" as a possible influence. "his 2004 documentary 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' Michael Moore claims it was the troops' favorite to blast as their tanks rolled into battle. Reports later surfaced that the song was used at Guantánamo, played over a 10-day period during the questioning of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian citizen who believed music is forbidden." She laments "that little attention has been paid to Drowning Pool since the Arizona shooting on Saturday."
- Sci-Fi Novels Commentary's John Podhoretz notes that Loughner "had obsessions with grammar and lucid dreaming and the notion that the world around us is an illusion. He may, in other words, have found his intellectual solace not in political ideology of any sort but rather in the false-reality fantasies of writers like Philip K. Dick, who all but invented a science-fiction genre about how the powerful have the rest of us living in a dream world in which we are manipulated." Podhoretz adds, "The villain is not 'violent rhetoric' but the diseased and evil brain of Jared Loughner."
- Marxism Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft pushes back on what he sees as liberal pundits associated Loughner with conservatives. Hoft retorts, "Jared Loughner is a left-winger who considers the Communist Manifesto one of his favorite books." Hoft calls Loughner "left-wing, quite liberal."
- Health Care Repeal Former Senator Bob Kerrey, a Democrat, told radio host Don Imus, "Tomorrow they were going to vote to repeal this health care bill--and it's not going to go anywhere in the Senate--it's one of the reasons that this guy was angry and pretty obvious that he is, at least from me, where I sit that he's mentally ill and deeply troubled."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.